Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Patience helps Wake Forest, Pitt builds for ACC title shot. NWN News

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (NWN) — Dave Clausen needed eight seasons to build a successful football show at Wake Forest and turn Damon Deacon into Atlantic Coast Conference division winners.

Pat Narduzzi needed a little less time to make it to Pittsburgh, though the Panthers were set to take another big step in Year 7 of his tenure.

The teams in the top 25 performances for the ACC Championship meet on Saturday night. It’s a matchup Clausen sees as a recognition for schools showing patience in giving coaches the time to create schedules. This also applies to each of Saturday’s other four power-conference title games.

“I think there are some lessons to be learned there that if you think you have the right person, and they’re doing the right thing, you’re always better off giving them an extra year,” Clausen said. “And obviously, it’s a little self-serving. I mean, I’m not in that position anymore, I’ve been here for eight years.

“But if they are doing something right and you believe in them, then I think you will stick with them. And more often than not, I think that will usually pay off.”

Overall, eight of the 10 men’s coaching teams in the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Southeastern and Pac-12 Conference championship games have been in their schools for at least six years, according to fourth-year Oregon coach Mario Cristobal (Pac-12). ) and second-year boiler coach Dave Aranda (Big 12) as outliers.

League Coach of the Year in the ACC Game Clausen was named No. 18 pairs up with Damon Deacon (10-2, 7-1) against runners-up in Narduzzi, who has the 17th-ranked Panthers (10-2, 7-). 1) In his second title game in four years. In addition to them, No. 21 North Carolina State and No. 22 Clemson won nine games with coaches in their ninth year (Dave Doeren) and 14th (Dabo Swinney) for the league’s next highest win totals.

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“If you look at where the league standings are this year,” Clausen said, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”

Neither Clausen nor Narduzzi won big in the early years and remained instead jumping to other jobs in the sport as an annual tradition. The reward comes Saturday night, with either Wake Forest claiming their first league title since 2006 or Pitt joining the ACC in 2013 for the first time since a matchup of high-powered offenses led by the star quarterback. found during.,

“You know, people don’t have much patience these days,” Narduzzi said. “My wife will probably say I don’t either, so I’m glad I’m not Eddie. But yeah, I think there’s something to “be patient.”

The value of patience stands with Demon Deacon, in particular, getting to this point for the first time since the ’06 title. The private university has the smallest undergraduate enrollment (5,441) of any power-conference program, and the football program is not built on loading and reloading with five-star recruits.

Instead, Damon Deacon wins with the long-term development of older players, who have grown stronger over time and honed their skills, usually starting with a redshirt year. The goal is to play disciplined football with clean execution and avoid self-defeating mistakes Like punishment.

That development plan worked under Jim Grob when Damon Deacon last won the ACC crown. Clausen adopted elements of that approach to bring Wake Forest back to prominence. Wake Forest went 3-9 in its first two seasons, but is now headed for a sixth straight bowl game with Sam Hartman at the helm of a tempo-controlling offense.

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Last week, the school announced a long-term contract extension for Clausen. On the eve of a division-cleaning victory at Boston College. And there’s just one change in Clausen’s staff going back to the 2019 season in Wake Forest.

“It’s rare to see a coach who shows up and builds something and really cares about the players and wants to see the last,” said Wake Forest offensive lineman Michael Jurgens. Looks like we’re satisfied so far.”

Narduzzi is already having a big moment when the Panthers escaped the typical “coastal chaos” of their always-unexpected split by reaching the title game in 2018. The Panthers won eight games the following year and have now jumped to their first 10-win season. NFL QB Prospect and ACC Player of the Year with Kenny Pickett as well as second-place defense ranking nationally with 46 sacks since 2009.

Narduzzi’s first team to reach the title game lost to eventual national champion Clemson, however Narduzzi on Thursday. tweeted a photo From that night on a locker-room whiteboard was written a message promising the Panthers to return.

“My daughter said to me; ‘We’ll be back,’ said Narduzzi. “That’s what we’ll come back to. Us, us, us. And we’ll be back again.”

The Panthers and Demon Deacon are exactly that.


NWN Sportswriter Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.


Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter . follow on


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